Air Fryer Chicken Bites are ultra crispy, tender and juicy with a simple panko breading and minimal oil. These homemade chicken nuggets are kid friendly but also make a delicious appetizer or game day snack!
- 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts), cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out the panko crumbs. Lightly spray with oil (non-stick cooking spray works well). Bake for 5 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown. (Stir a few times to ensure they brown evenly and don’t burn). Remove from oven and let cool.
- Add the flour and chicken to a large ziplock bag and toss until the chicken pieces are lightly coated with flour.
- Whisk together the eggs in a shallow bowl.
- In a separate shallow bowl or large rimmed plate, mix together the toasted panko crumbs, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder and black pepper.
- Dip the floured chicken pieces in the egg wash, letting any excess egg drip off, and then coat with the panko crumb mixture. (Use your fingers to lightly press the crumbs into the surface of the chicken).
- Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. (You’ll need to air fry in two batches so place the remaining breaded chicken in the fridge).
- Air fry on 400F for 6 minutes. Flip the nuggets over and air fry for another 5-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the nuggets reach 165F.
- Repeat with remaining chicken. (The second batch may cook faster than the first).
- You can substitute 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the chicken breasts.
- These nuggets are not overly seasoned. If you like extra seasoning, feel free to add more, or change it up with different dried herbs and spices.
- For a non-smoky flavour, use regular paprika instead of smoked paprika.
- The chicken was cut into 2-inch pieces. If you cut your pieces larger or smaller, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time slightly.
- I usually use one hand to dip the chicken pieces in the egg wash and keep the other hand dry to coat the chicken in the panko crumbs. If you use the same hand, your fingers will get clumpy with egg and panko crumbs.
- I didn’t preheat my air fryer for this recipe, but if your air fryer requires it, you should do so before adding the nuggets. This may reduce the cooking time slightly.
- This recipe was tested in a Cosori 5.8 quart air fryer. If you have a different brand, model or size, you may need to adjust the air frying temperature and time slightly.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: chicken nuggets, chicken bites